A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week or so.
George Will on the importance of the Supreme Court's decision on ObamaCare:
The Obamacare issues of Medicaid coercion and the individual mandate are twins. They confront the court with the same challenge, that of enunciating judicially enforceable limiting principles. If there is no outer limit on Congress’s power to regulate behavior in the name of regulating interstate commerce, then the Framers’ design of a limited federal government is nullified. And if there is no outer limit on the capacity of this government to coerce the states, then federalism, which is integral to the Framers’ design, becomes evanescent.
So, the time the court has allotted for oral argument about Obamacare is proportional to the stakes. This case is the most important in the more than half a century since the Brown v. Board of Education cases because, like those, it concerns the nature of the American regime.
Evanescent. Ahem. vanishing; fading away; fleeting.
Will's right, however, as if the Supremes uphold the mandate, the precedent will have been set that there is effectively nothing Congress cannot compel you to do. Crazy notion but we don't think that's what the Founders had in mind for the federal government.
Sarah over at Lipstick Underground is no fan of Newt Gingrich but appears to dislike his wife even more:
The REAL ick factor in all this is wife #3, Callista Bisek Gingrich, mistress during marriage #2 and potential First Lady of the United States. Just let that sink in for a minute.
I hold women to a higher standard then men. I’m hardly a prude, and stuff happens in marriages that is just between spouses. But the simple truth is, we are the gate keepers to societal standards around here...and I’m not interested in having to call some home wrecking hussy “First Lady.” She’s no lady and I don’t want her in my White House.
We... had not considered that angle before.
Sir Charles at Doo Doo Economics attended the 28th annual San Diego County Economic Roundtable and provides his round-up here ending with this observation:
All the economists and speakers shared one common sentiment. The 2012 election year will decide if small or big government will rule our futures. My take on the situation is that a smaller government role is warranted. Keynesian economics has run its course. Small tweaks to capitalism work but socialist cronyism is not a small tweak. Making poverty and dependence comfortable and allowing the state to pick winners and losers is not wise in any civilization. Only the passion of self interested individuals who believe in their own ideas and benefit from taking risks can create a vibrant economy. No amount of marketing "green" or other state solutions will impassion true believers, investors and customers like an individual with an innovative idea.
Look no further than Europe to see how that statist/entitlement model is working. Yet, the ruling party at the federal level and in many states including our home state of California seem quite content to be just that... content to follow the status quo when the status quo will lead to certain ruin.
So, just how did that "open marriage" request/demand that was to end Newt's candidacy work out?
Gingrich trailed Romney by double digits just days ago. But that changed quickly after Gingrich's performance in Thursday's night CNN Southern Republican debate. The former House speaker was able to turn his biggest liability -- accusations by his second wife, Marianne, that he wanted an "open marriage" -- into an asset, drawing two standing ovations for assailing the media for bringing up the allegations.
If there was going to be a primary out there where allegations of marital infidelity were going to register with the state's social conservative-leaning Republican voters, it would've been South Carolina and yet Newt wins going away. So, what is it?: Newt's skillful debate performance in criticizing the (northeastern) media or a collective electoral shrug of the shoulders seemingly saying, "It's Newt, of course he's going to want to get a little freaky." Next.
Oh, by the way, Newt carried the majority of married women.
Totally related (via Instapundit):
MORE STILL: A female reader writes that Gingrich may not have been so hurt by ex-wife Marianne’s TV interview:
Hate to say this and don’t use my name, but I watched the interview and thought
“You bitch, he cheated on his first wife with you. What the heck did you expect?”
Kinda parallels what Sarah was saying above, don't it?
How's that Arab Spring working out over in Egypt?
Terrific: Egypt Islamists win 70 percent
Islamists won a combined 70 percent of parliamentary seats in the first election after Egypt’s revolution, according to official results Saturday that cemented the victory of rival religious parties belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and the more fundamentalist Salafists.
More fundamentalist? Again, terrific.
Don't think we're going out on a limb by saying life won't be getting much better for this particular set of protesters.
KT links to a fine piece by Charles Murray on the changing face and increasing isolationism of the elites in our country:
And the isolation is only going to get worse. Increasingly, the people who run the country were born into that world. Unlike the typical member of the elite in 1960, they have never known anything but the new upper-class culture. We are now seeing more and more third-generation members of the elite. Not even their grandparents have been able to give them a window into life in the rest of America.
It's long but worthwhile and caused us to recall Angelo Codevilla's epic manifesto from the summer of 2010 "America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution"
Today's ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters -- speaking the "in" language -- serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct. Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America's ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government.
And dig this from Russell K. Nieli:
Participation in such Red State activities as high school ROTC, 4-H clubs, or the Future Farmers of America was found to reduce very substantially a student's chances of gaining admission to the competitive private colleges in the NSCE database on an all-other-things-considered basis. The admissions disadvantage was greatest for those in leadership positions in these activities or those winning honors and awards. "Being an officer or winning awards" for such career-oriented activities as junior ROTC, 4-H, or Future Farmers of America, say Espenshade and Radford, "has a significantly negative association with admission outcomes at highly selective institutions." Excelling in these activities "is associated with 60 or 65 percent lower odds of admission."
Exit question: Sorry for going all pitchfork-wielding populist but how have all those Ivy League degrees littered about Wall Street and Washington D.C. been working out for this country, lately?
OK, gang. That's it for now. It's a new week so let's get to it.